I became keenly interested in photography on a trip with my friends down the Zion Narrows years ago. My friend, Aaron Beddes, was into photography and took his SLR along for the hike. Watching him use the camera sparked my interest in photography so I bought a used Canon Rebel off eBay, read a bunch of books, and proceeded to take a mountain of awful photos, mostly on slide film (Velvia). Even though I was terrible I thoroughly enjoyed myself and have been an addict since.
I have since moved into digital photography and all of the benefits of the digital “darkroom” but have moved away from SLR cameras through the purchase of the Fujifilm X-Pro1, which is in the mold of the older rangefinders, using primarily prime lenses. It has caused me to think quite differently than I did when using an SLR. The gear is lighter, I’m more nimble, and I find myself photographing more.
I also purchased and refurbished a Mamiya C220 TLR medium format camera. I still enjoy the look and, most importantly, the process of film. I actually enjoy the process of selecting a roll of film based upon my photographic vision, shooting a fully mechanical camera, not knowing how the images turned out, and then getting the processed film from the lab. There is really something special about viewing 6×6 Velvia slides on the light box. Also, traditional black and white photography and newer color emulsions have incredible range and tonality.
I love having the flexibility of both mediums – digital and film – and I’m really happy with my gear, which is as follows:
- Fujifilm X-Pro1
- Fujinon Lens XF 18mm f/2 R
- Fujinon Lens XF 35mm f/1.4 R
- Fujinon Lens XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro
- B+W polarizers
- Mamiya C220 TLR
- Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/2.8 lens (blue dot)
- Mamiya Sekor 135mm f/4.5 lens
- Manfrotto tripod legs
- Acratech Ultimate Ballhead tripod head
My favorite types of photography are landscape, travel, and detail-oriented photographs, so I spend most of my time in those sorts of areas. David Noton is far and away my favorite photographer. His stuff is inspiring and pushes me to get out and improve my skills. Do yourself a favor and swing by his site.